Bob Sherin, Non Lawyer, Fights Red Light Camera Tickets In Court

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When Florida slapped Bob Sherin's software company with a monstrous $45,000 tax bill back in 1976, the small business owner went ballistic. Up to that point, his upstart industry had been exempt from state sales tax. But he couldn't find a lawyer to take his case. Instead, Sherin camped out in a law library for several months and argued his own case. The battle broke-up his marriage, but he prevailed.

Four decades later, Sherin is still using the same administrative court system, called the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH), to fight The Man. But this time The Man is a popular annoyance: the tyranny of red light camera tickets.

Update: Click through for video of the bogus "offense" North Miami ticketed Sherin's friend for.  


Sherin is not a lawyer, but a "non lawyer" - a title he proudly tacks onto his emails. Either way, he's spent the past year and considerable personal expense to expose what he calls red light "racketeering". South Florida cities are sending citizens tickets for right-hand-turns and other acts that simply aren't illegal, he says.

"There all sorts of exemptions (from tickets) that are being hidden from motorists," Sherin says. "These cities are demanding millions of dollars that they are not due. It's a crime."

Take the case of Lon Ohlfest, a friend of Sherin's. The therapist had been volunteering at a church in North Miami when  he made a right-hand-turn at a stoplight on the way home. "I slowed down, I stopped, then I proceeded through the intersection," he remembers. A couple of weeks later, however, he opened his mailbox to find the financial equivalent of a steaming bag of dog crap: a red light camera ticket for $158.

The citation was shoddy from the start. When Ohlfest pointed out that the ticket was in his deceased mother's name, North Miami officials just sent him another one with his name on it. But the second ticket arrived 71 days after the alleged infraction - 11 days after the statute of limitations allows.

Ohlfest filled out an affidavit online. With Sherin's help, he put together a seemingly air-tight argument. Section 316.0083 of Florida's municipal code says a driver can't be ticketed "for failure to stop at a red light if the driver is making a right-hand turn in a careful and prudent manner at an intersection where right-hand turns are permissible."

Yet, North Miami officials ignored his pleas. (They did not return requests for comment.)

As Ohlfest waited for a response, his license was suspended. Finally, he forked over $61 to lift the ban and have his case heard in traffic court. A judge took one look at the video and said: "Dismissed." 


Update: Watch it for yourself:


But Ohlfest's personal victory isn't much precedent. "This city is giving out who knows how many tickets every day to people who are struggling just to get by," he says. "It's extortion. They are making money outside the law. It's just a money-grabbing scheme."

So Sherin is now taking the case to DOAH to challenge the basic rules behind red light camera tickets. The outcome might take a while, but it will affect dozens of cities and thousands of people in the Miami area. "I'm not going to stop until they disclose all these exemption to motorists in court and on every notice," he says.

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10 comments
bobsherin
bobsherin

Take a stand against tyranny: http://RedLitePetition.com 

 

Rulemaking pending with Fla. Dept. Hwy Safety & Motor Vehicles

http://RedLite.ws

 

Illegal Red Light Notice for $288 thrown out of court

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccdBLNa2bhg

(This case out of the City of North Miami involved demand for trial at start, plus Exempting Affidavit.  Notwithstanding, license was suspended, $60 required for reinstatement before it came before the Court, where it was promptly jettisoned -- with dozens of others.).

WiseOne
WiseOne

  Why not just demand answers to the Three Magic Questions?   What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANYBODY has the right to commit?  What is the EXACT AMOUNT of fraud that ANYBODY has an actual obligation to endure?  What is the BASIC PREMISE that is being operated off of in the instant case?  Find the answers to those questions and you can take apart the corrupted legal system down to its smallest nuts and bolts. 

  What police department/judge/lieyer can answer those questions without giving up the entire scam of the legal system??  See how that works?  Expose their CRIMES and you're no longer a victim of them!!  EASY!!

 

Randy

jcwconsult
jcwconsult

For Bob Sherin: 

We see clearly what your approach is in Florida and it may well have application in other states.   There are many cities in Florida which are simply defying state law and ticketing safe slow-rolling right on red turns, knowing that many people lack the knowledge or the will to take it to court for almost-certain wins when no safety issue was shown on video.  Similarly, finding ways to legally avoid identifying the driver when it was not the owner will help many people.

 

My main point is to go after the deliberate, malicious and lower-safety change in the rules issued on yellow light timing by the Florida Department of Transportation in July 2011.  Prior to July 2011, yellows were to be timed for the posted speed limit or the 85th percentile speed of approaching traffic WHICHEVER IS GREATER (my emphasis).  In July 2011, the "whichever is greater" was removed - thus allowing or even encouraging cities to time yellows for the posted limits which are almost always lower than the safety-optimum 85th percentile speeds. This makes the yellows up to about one second too short.  Since about 60% of all red light violations occur in the first half-second of red and about 80% in the first full second, this deliberate and malicious change by FLDOT has drastically increased the use and profitability of red light cameras.

 

If the yellows were timed for maximum safety and minimum violations AND cities did not illegally ticket safe slow-rolling right on red turns as prohibited by state law in Florida, the entire fraud of the red light camera industry would collapse.  The total citation numbers would be far too small to support even the basic $4,000 to $5,000 per month per camera lease fees, let alone produce the millions in profits that are rolling in to the cities and the state.  Only by ticketing mostly safe drivers can the red light camera industry survive in Florida, or anywhere else.

 

We need to attack the fraud on all fronts until they are banned forever.  Every local, state and national group that helps to educate people on the fraud and teach them how to fight helps in the ultimate campaign to bankrupt this predatory, fraudulent and safety-reducing industry.

 

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

bobsherin
bobsherin

jcwconsult

 

Please note what we're doing in Florida (the post beneath yours),  because we may show you an easy remedy applicable in other states. 

 

A breadth of new knowledge is coming in we can all share.   For example, when it comes to disclosing a spouse was driving, consider standing on Marital Privilege.

 

Not detracting from your work, here in Florida, http://RedLite.ws is the place to go. 

 

 

jcwconsult
jcwconsult

Are there REALLY any people in Florida who still think red light camera cash registers are about safety, and not about MONEY ? Are there REALLY people that are still that naive?

Cities in Florida don't give a tinker's #$*&)!>? about safety with red light camera cash registers, so long as the thousands or millions of dollars keep rolling in. The state loves the programs, they get to rip off $83 of every $158 ticket (52.5% of the money-grab revenue), with no responsibility to pay any part of the costs of the cameras.

Engineers know that adding one more second to the yellow intervals would drop the violation rates by MORE than the ticket cameras, but that simple no-cost safety change is not profitable, so cities won't improve safety at the cost of gutting the camera revenue stream.

The only real solution is a statewide ban on cameras, but bills to do this in Florida have failed twice due to heavy lobbying by the camera companies and the cities that want the revenue at the expense of lower safety. A bill to mandate longer yellows failed for the same reason.

Citizens need to repeatedly contact their state and local officials to demand an end to the predatory red light camera programs and VOTE OUT all the camera supporters. Replace these officials with others that favor safety ahead of camera revenue. See our website for the research.

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI

bobsherin
bobsherin

Good people, This is a rule-making proceeding before the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Their Answer is due by August 1, 2012.   Please see action at http://RedLite.ws (allow load time).  Under the rules, the Department is required to advertise this action statewide and hold meetings for citizen comment.  Given Michael Miller's wonderful coverage, the affected multitudes are entitled to join the rule-making action.   No downside, the more motorists attaching to the action, the better. After setting up a site for those wishing to join, I'll post it here. All papers going back and forth will be posted on the Net.  Once you join the official action, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will have an obligation to notice you on everything.   Not all, but some Red Light Regulation is a tyranny on our liberties.@

donaldson1
donaldson1

Keep Fightin the RLC FRAUD Bob!

 

If you need more info check out:

 

www.motorists.org

wwww.banthecams.org

www.stpetecameras.org

camerafraud on Facebook!

platehood
platehood

A photo enforcement has never stopped unsafe driving as it occurs. It has been proven that these systems are DANGEROUS and increase accidents in areas where they are deployed. How can blinding and distracting drivers with a searing flash improve anyones "safety"? Instead of increasing the yellow light timing cycles at intersections, they can mount a scamera and profit from you instead. Your personal information is being recorded 24/7 and stored by private companies wether an infraction has occured or not. Protect your privacy and hard earned dollars with the PlateHood.

cmaria.ojeda
cmaria.ojeda

Good for Bob Sherin! If this becomes a class action lawsuit, I would LOVE to add my two cents. It is a completely unfair & unreliable system to ticket people thru a camera!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @cmaria.ojeda 

 

Class Action -- and demand punitive damages from the PRIVATE COMPANY that runs these scams.

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